Worms live on pasture where they are eaten by sheep. Lambs have a weaker immune system than their mothers and therefore they are at a greater risk of illness from these worms. Worms can cause loss of appetite, weight loss and diarrhoea. Some worms can cause anaemia and in severe cases- sudden death. Worming your lambs regularly will reduce the amount of worms both in the lambs and on the pasture, this will reduce their chances of becoming ill.
HOW TO WORM
There are many different wormers available. Most come as a drench, which you squirt into the lambs mouth. Lambs can become infected with worms as soon as they begin to eat grass so it is recommended you worm the lambs at weaning time. To keep the amount of worms on the pasture to a minimum you should worm them every 28 days after this, through till late Autumn. You need to ensure you are using an appropriate wormer which will effectively kill the worms, if you are unsure which wormer to use consult your veterinarian.
(Always use a dual active or triple active.)
OTHER CONTROL MEASURES
Many of the sheep worms do not affect cows, so if you keep cows it is a good idea to graze them along side your sheep or, if possible, rotate the paddocks between the two species. If you only keep sheep you can rotate paddocks between ewes and weaned lambs although this is not as effective.
HOW CAN YOUR VET HELP?
Your vet can take faecal samples from your flock to assess the number and type of worms your sheep have. They can do this before and after worming to ensure the worms are being effectively killed by the wormer you are using.